OPINION: ENGLISH FOLK MAY SAVE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MUSIC

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Sick and tired of the same old Christian worship music? You ought to give folk music a try. Perhaps you’ll get the entire congregation to join in.

The current genre of popular music played by today’s hip and cool is one that can be enjoyed by everyone, old and young and in between. It is called English folk rock. Correct me if I am wrong but Mumford & Sons is, I assume, the front-runner secular band we could point others to in case they’ve never heard of it. I am sure there are Christian folk copycats, but I do not know who they are.

I am excited about the latest trend in music. I hope it has staying power.

My nephew, Tim, has abandoned the screamo anger music of his youth and is now happily playing his banjo. His mother could not be gladder. His grandmother is thrilled. And, I, too, encourage the change.

English folk rock can be traced back, at least, to the 1960s when it was called Electric folk. Its Celtic sounds and smooth, rich harmony can merry a troubled heart anywhere it is played.

Dude! If your church is still staging the same old tired and obnoxious drum kit perched high on a riser and an army of screaming guitars, then you are, well, like, you know, soooooo millennial, man. English folk music is the next biggest and best thing.

Do you agree or not that everyone in the congregation can sing folk music? Better yet, is there anything more beautiful than Be Thou My Vision sung A cappella?

Back in the 1960s the Christians were among those who joined the English folk scene. As is our habit, we recruit believers from every walk of life. Though a new Christian will always have a new mind and new heart, he may not change his music beat. One does not necessarily need to exchange his banjo for a pipe organ to express an outward love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

I must confess that I do not like contemporary Christian “praise” band music. I agree with the conservatives who say that most of today’s “worship teams” found in American churches are more or less “entertainers” who perform on stage, and poorly I might add. The contemporary Christian style does not promote congregational singing, which is indeed the true purpose of church music. As folk music re-enters Christian spheres perhaps congregational singing will return. Folk music is designed for everyone to sing along.

Let’s pray, too, that the songwriters will solicit a theologian or two to help draft the lyrics so that the composition will be suitable to God’s own revelation, not their own.

Here (below) I am embedding a sample of outstanding Christian folk music. It was performed by The Kinsfolk, from Australia. It was sung at the 1969 Billy Graham Crusade in New York. As far as I know The Kinsfolk no longer exist and this music is found nowhere else on the internet. I happened upon it while traveling through Abilene, Texas where I found the album in a book store.

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THE VIRGIN MARY HAD A BABY BOY

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